Product Review: Fat Gripz

August 30, 2010

Struggling to get stronger? The folks at Fat Gripz have identified hand grips and forearms as areas that are often overlooked or improperly trained, thus holding back total upper body strength gains.

Fat Gripz believes the most effective way to develop the upper body is to work for proportional strength. Weak grips and forearms create a bottleneck effect, limiting the rest of the body’s lifting potential.

To develop functional grip and forearm strength, use a thick bar, two-and-a-quarter inches in diameter, instead of the standard one-inch barbell or dumbbell. Thick bars are difficult to hold, requiring increased muscle activation in the hands and forearms to maintain grip. However, despite their effectiveness, thick bars are expensive and rarely available in your local gym. Enter Fat Gripz. To give everyone access to thick bar training, they have developed high-density rubber grips that wrap around a standard barbell or dumbbell.

Holding the Fat Gripz, the quality of the rubber is immediately felt. They are flexible enough to slip over a bar, but hard enough to simulate an actual thick bar. They fit easily over barbells, but may need extra work to fit properly on select dumbbells.

The grips are very effective for performing arm exercises such as Dumbbell Curls and Triceps Extensions, as well as pulling exercises such as Barbell Bent-Over Rows and Pull-Ups. Athletes' forearms will burn throughout each exercise, and they may even struggle toward the end of a set just to maintain a grip.

After using Fat Gripz for about a month, athletes should notice increased muscular development in the forearms, and be able to add more weight or reps without experiencing forearm or grip fatigue.

The primary drawback is that Fat Gripz may be difficult to hold when sweating. Also, the fatigue experienced in the forearms and grip may limit the number of reps executed, reducing the work being performed by the targeted muscle.

Bottom line: Fat Gripz are an effective and low-cost way to build forearm and grip strength that translates into proportional upper-body power. However, to ensure the effectivness of your training, perform varied workouts and don't rely on a single routine or product.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...

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